Digital technology can keep your children occupied for hours .
IF YOU need to learn something in particular you could take the opportunity to ask your child if they wouldn't mind teaching you what you want to know. So many parents ask their children at this point of the Technology Age how to do this or how to do that. The children are all too happy to teach other people their technology skills and especially their parents.
However sometimes a break is good so you can try the gift bag idea. You can wait a while and just surprise the children after a short while. You can leave some of the gifts until another hour or two, depends how long the trip is and if there is a particularly long stretch where you are not stopping to get gas or food.
As far as goodies go it is up to you, just keep in mind if they have too many sweets they, like you, are likely to get very hyper and restless so fruit cut into different shapes maybe, depends how old the children are.
Coloring materials where they can color in the pictures or if it is freehand they can choose a subject along the road and then try and draw the subject by memory. You could have taken a photo of the subject and see how close the drawing came to the photo, see how good their memory and observational skills are.
Counting games, counting the cows, at Christmas, counting the Christmas trees in the passing houses.
You can make games where the children receive a prize for the correct answers. The games can be a questionnaire and the child with the most correct answers gets to choose which room they want at the hotel/ motel/ or they choose what to do that evening for an hour prior to going to dinner etc. or even the whole evening. They could win a prize, something they have mentioned a lot that they would like. It is not neccessary to spend a lot of money, just means a little bit of thought.
The children could be given points every time they get the answers correct and the first child that exceeds a certain number wins, or put a time limit on it and say by (2pm) see how many points you have and the one with the highest score wins a prize.
Questions can be on the subject of the trip, where are we going next, what village, town, city, where did we just come from, what was the name of the town we have just passed through. What Mountain Range did we just see. What was the last City famous for?
Whether using an old map or a smart phone you can map out the route you are taking and ask the children what is the name of the next town and how long will it take to get there do they think? The one that guesses the nearest time wins a prize. Map out interesting things along the way or could they find a more scenic route or a quicker route to where you are all heading.
Let the children make paper bag puppets and mark facial features with marker pens or crayons and have a puppet show.
Try books on tape and agree to play something that everyone will enjoy, Harry Potter, the Hobbit or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Another game is for the children to spot the letters of the alphabet A to Z. So if there are 2 children one sits on the left and other on the right ( they might have to toss up for seat positions!)
Letters are everywhere on signs on shops, take away/out drive ins, the name of the cities and towns. they can write the letter down as they find them so no one gets muddled, easy to get distracted sometimes!
The first one that has the most letters of the alphabet by the time of arrival wins. So you must think of a reward of some kind, need only be a small one!
If you are travelling over a long distance on highways and motorways, the children can spot cars that have interstate number plates, these can be written down as well. Again the child with the highest number of Interstate plates wins.
Or just tell your children about your life, funny things, where you have been where Dad or Grandpa and Grandma have travelled, what they have done where they have lived. Maybe they will just be tired and fall asleep. Put on a soothing, music tape for everyone, but most of all, have a safe trip.!
Flying with children
Just a few tips for when you are flying, with your children to your holiday destination and be confident it is going to be a great trip!
If you start early and plan ahead when booking your flight, you will have more time to ask about child friendly airlines and airports.
Some airlines cater for children's needs such as meals especially for children, which can make life so much easier where children are concerned. Sometimes activity packs are supplied which is also a great surprise for them and a great help to you.
Of course you can always make your own surprise activity pack for your child or children, they would love that. Just remember that even with making your own activity pack be aware of the rules and regulations of flying and not put in what is a totally harmless item to you, but not to take
on an aeroplane.
Check with your Agent if you need to.
When booking your flight, make sure your whole Family is seated together. Most important.
So remember to make your request when booking your ticket. If your seats are not assigned until you checking in, try to arrive as early as possible. Book also a child seat if you need one, these are more secure for your child than a standard seat belt.
When packing, try if you can to pack lightly within the flight guidelines, can be very expensive otherwise!
If it suits you, your children can help with the packing. They can choose their favourite clothes and any favourite quiet toys that they are allowed to take and does not disturb other passengers.
Remember to take extra batteries for any electrical items, also it is a good idea to take hand wipes for cleaning sticky fingers and faces and hands, these are always useful, with children or without children.
You can try to get very young children to stay awake prior to your flight,
so that they would get tired on the flight and sleep peacefully.
Avoiding giving the children anything with sugar in it would be a good idea, otherwise they could be hyper before and during the flight which would not make for a great flight.
The children can take their own luggage onto the plane in backpacks, easier to carry and hands free, adults too if easier for them but children in particular would find it much easier.
Keeping a small pack of drinking straws with you wherever you go can come in very handy to avoid spilling drinks and the children no matter what situation would find much easier to drink through.
Travelling with Children
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Top: Teenager in a hurry.
Girl in suitcase
Baby asleep on hammock
Young boy, sleeptime
Left: What about me? Dog all
packed ready to go.
Below: Boy concentrating.
Info21online.com news/contacts on Adventure and Travel, ideas for Travelling with Children.
1. Pack early
2. Pack for yourself first. Unless your Children are babies, most of what you might need for
toiletries will suffice for them.
Medications for the children are also best kept with yours for safety reasons and access.
Even if you are travelling by car, keep a separate bag for essential items like medicines and
toiletries. Easier to keep track of them without having to go through your luggage.
Don't forget your basic first aid kit.
3. Keep all documents together in one place. This includes ID, cash and credit cards, plane, train
or bus tickets, phone cards, medical records, driver's licence and other papers you might
need. If you are travelling Internationally keep a copy of your licence, passport signature page
and birth certificates and medical cards in your luggage as back up.
4. Refine the amount of luggage you carry with you, roll your clothes as this makes even more
space and don't forget the souvenirs and presents and anything else that you might want to
bring back and you will need space to put them in.
5. The same for your Children's luggage. You will probably need clothes for the varies activities
the children might be doing on your trip, such as going to the beach. They will need bathing
suits and towels. As you might.
6. Pack a carry bag for your child as well, for if you have paid for a ticket for your child they are
entitled to additional luggage that is allowed within their ticket specifications. they are
also allowed a bag on the plane. Besides an extra outfit you can pack their games, books,
wipes, blanket, toys and other needs.
In baby's bag, their clothing, pacifier, formula, diapers, and wipes and bibs.
7. If you are not travelling by plane you can carry snacks and drinks and don' forget the cooler.
8. Travel 1st Aid tips - First Aid Kit.
On the plane you can check your 1st Aid Kit in your luggage for safekeeping on the plane.
Any large Store should sell a basic first aid Kit, many of them carry too many bandages and
you can take the excess bandages out and replace the space with asprin, cotton balls, small
water bottle thermometer, anti biotic ointment, antihistamines, hand sanitizer and
emergency rations such as granola bars for energy.
Children's doses must be included in the Kit.
9. You can create your own Kit, if you plan outdoor activities it might be a good idea to include
wildlife first aid items, like sunscreens, bandana, tourniquet, safety pins, severing kit, utility
knife (not on the plane ) flashlight and batteries, matches, snake bite kit, kit and other
medicines. These things can help you get out of a sticky situation.
You could also find the address and phone number of the nearest hospital to where you will
be, so there is no panic at not being able to find it.
10. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes for travel to your destination. Stay hydrated in hot
weather and avoid rushing.